Wellness Goals: Benefits of Journaling

It must be obvious that I like to write and even before I started this website, I always found that writing my thoughts down somehow helps me mentally. There were times as I’m sure you can imagine when I spend time in the writing, noting, jotting and doodling wilderness but I put that down to being somewhat of a loose cannon during my drinking days. In fact, writing helped me ditch the booze.

But, it needn’t be a tool just for quitting alcohol, indeed it can be a tool to keep you on track with any goal but I will use kicking the booze as an example and you can adapt and take from it all that you can:

First task: Download a Sober App. There are many out there, but I would recommend “I am Sober” simply because it is the one that I used and still do, it is easy to understand and its free. This will keep you on track and if it isn’t a sober app then check out apps for your related goal. If there isn’t something out there for you (even remotely what you are looking for) I will eat my own head!

The next thing is to journal throughout your journey, just as I did for the first 30 days (prepare for the next chapter) and have done so since. Be as blunt and truthful as you like because getting your thoughts out is a massive deal and will help you in achieving your goal, whether it is towards continued sobriety, stopping smoking or simply emptying your brain to get a good nights’ sleep without worrying. It is also for you only so don’t worry about offending anyone.

Journaling is excellent for expressing yourself physically, mentally, and emotionally. I find that by emptying my brain of all the bits flying around in there, it relieves some of the tension that we all carry around in our everyday lives. When I wrote my first 30 days in sobriety the language was quite frankly appalling and even I struggled to make sense of the spelling, but at the time it was relief.

It doesn’t have to be in the Queen’s English or even in some obscure English language or dialect because it is there for you and to help you alone. If you think of a shopping list, it just takes off that pressure of having to remember what you need and writing your thoughts down is no different. They both ease up some much-needed hard drive space, and believe me, if yours is a sobriety journey you will need it as your thoughts become occupied with the task in hand of not drinking.

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Along with reduced stress (sounds like steam escaping), writing down our thoughts is beneficial to our memory function, boosts our mood and journaling benefits overall emotional health. As journaling habits are developed, we begin to connect with our inner needs and desires because they become clear and apparent, in black and white.

I am quite the visual person so seeing something in black and white seems to help me. This increased mindfulness helps us keep perspective and focus on our goals.

In terms of someone journaling to overcome a drinking problem, be it large or small, it presents an opportunity for us to connect with our inner self, increase self-confidence and reinforce self-talk, which in turn helps us to manage adversity and change, and emphasize important patterns and growth in our everyday life as we cut out the booze.  

So whether you can spell, doodle or whatever, keep a journal, diary, log, memoir or whatever else you would like to call it, keep it personal and for some of you I’m sure, keep it private!

Finally, it worked for me so give it a bash.

All the best…. Darren

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